Theme:subject & conclusion both human traits of hero? : LUSENET : Fiction 98 : One Thread

In my Assign #2 I used Unfairness can lead to Rebellion. I'm wondering if a berter working theme might be: Frustration/Desperation can lead to Rebellion.

In the first theme, the Unfairness is really a trait of the other people or the situation. So, for integrity's sake, wouldn't help the focus to make both the Subject and Conclusion human traits of the hero?

This is probably a dumb question, and you'll probably say I can do whatever I want to with a theme, but I would really like to know your opinion. Theme/outlining is something I've never really done before, and I realize how powerful and necessary it is in writing fiction, so I would appreciate your thoughts. I need all the focus I can get!

Gary Taylor

-- Gary M. Taylor (, January 25, 1998


I think what your talking about a pure form often used in tragedies. This is usually when the hero has a tragic flaw, an Achilles heel, and, despite the best intentions and heroic accomplishments, the flaw will ultimately destroy the hero. You can use this for positive ending too; a hero could start from a seemingly low and hopeless state and have one good quality that propels her toward happiness or success. These two poles and everything in between will fuel pure character-driven plots. You can add social complexity by throwing in your example of "Unfairness can lead to Rebellion." The outside influence triggers a latent trait, either positive or negative, and the hero takes it to its limits. It could be a revolution leader who leads her country to a new and prosperous age, or she could become worse than what she destroyed once the power is transferred. The event would not have to be a country wide revolution, it could be a conversation over dinner where an unjust statement or action causes rebellion ... a little Sammy got a smaller pork chop than his brother. Italo Calvino's Baron in the Trees is the ultimate youthful rebellion. The young hero refused to eat what was on his plate and after being unjustly punished, he climbs a tree in the yard and lives the rest of his life in the trees, never touching the ground again. So, back to the question, you are right it anticipating my response. You can do what ever you want with a theme. I think keeping the theme related to your character's transformation (or failure to transform) is great way to go, and I imagine there are good arguments for it being the basis of all good fiction. I like to keep things open-ended, otherwise I might miss something.

-- Bob Hembree (, January 26, 1998.

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